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Do Kettlebell Swings Work Lats
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Do Kettlebell Swings Work Lats

If you've ever been within swinging distance of a weights room, chances are you seen — or executed — this staple. ‘ Kettlebellswings will teach you how to use your full core,’ says PT Casper van Heerlen.

James Lee
• Thursday, 08 October, 2020
• 8 min read
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‘It also targets your posterior chain — the string of muscles running along the back of your body,’ says Shone Hendricks, head of sports science at the High Performance Center at the University of Pretoria. These are neglected in lots of workouts and help to strengthen your alignment and improve posture.

Thanks to the intensity of the kettle bell swing, they also get your heart rate pumping, making them an effective cardio move too — a study by the American Council on Exercise and University of Wisconsin-La Cross’s Department of Exercise and Sport Science found that swings could 'markedly increase aerobic capacity, improve dynamic balance and dramatically increase core strength'. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and squat down to pick up the kettle bell with both hands in an overhand grip.

Look ahead, not down, and keep your spine aligned and your knees slightly bent throughout the movement. Allow the weight to drop back down, hinging at the hips as it swings between your legs.

Focus on clenching your glutes at the top of the move and keeping your back straight. In the American version of the exercise, you'll bring the weight higher than chest or shoulder-height, all the way up overhead.

Unsurprisingly, this is tougher — it requires greater mobility and will challenge your cardiovascular system even more, meaning you'll send your HR climbing even higher. You'll get all the strength benefits, and it's a safer option too — you don't want to be flinging any kettle bells near your head without full confidence in your ability to control them, do you?

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‘This move will start to feel uncomfortable given your limited range of motion as the baby gets bigger,’ says Hendricks. Cut through the noise and get practical, expert advice, home workouts, easy nutrition and more direct to your inbox.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. I knew enough to realize I had to incorporate weight resistance training along with dieting; otherwise, I'd simply end up as a skinny version of my fat self.

Within a short time after I started swinging, I noticed shoulder and arm definition I had never seen on my body, not even in my 20s. Within 15 months, I had shed 120 pounds and was able to lower my body fat to 15-to-18 percent, that of an elite level female athlete-all this with zero traditional cardio training!

I have dedicated my life to training and teaching the swing and to designing the toughest, most efficient, not to mention fun, workouts a person can do. The kettle bell swing is ideal for weight loss because it's no impact and it torches fat like no other workout can.

Kettle bell swing training is your 1-stop shop for muscle size, definition, fat loss and the heart of a racehorse. After years of training clients and leading seminars and certificate programs, I've encountered just about every question about the swing.

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I think the best way to get you to pick up a kettle bell and swing it (if you haven't already) is to lead you through the top five questions and give you my most convincing answers. If you're ready to jump right in, skip to question number five for how to work it into your current workout schedule.

The kettle bell swing works the muscles in the hips, glutes, hamstrings, lats, abs, shoulders, pecs and grip. It's a simple and fast way to incorporate a very athletic movement into a routine safely while burning a ton of calories.

The kettle bell swing is the perfect way to increase fat burning without sacrificing hard-earned muscle mass, as you do with regular cardio. I'm talking about the little, fibrous beauties that endure microscopic tears in training, and then rebuild and grow to give your muscles incredible depth and density.

The swing can bring a whole-body move into a bodybuilding routine and builds more of an athletic look while increasing low-back stability. The swing burns more calories in a shorter period of time than any other method of cardio (unless you're busting out a 6-minute mile, which I doubt).

It's safe because it's no impact, making it easy on the joints, and more fun to do than the StairMaster or treadmill, in my opinion. The swing further refines the physique while simultaneously boosting your cardiovascular strength and endurance-best 2-for-1 deal on the market!

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So I began to create and design swing routines and programs based on interval training. If you've ever done cardio interval training, you know it's about performing short bursts of intensity, followed by rest, and then repeating this pattern.

With the swing, interval training increases your cardiovascular ability while distracting you from the incredible workload you bear. My workouts require you to focus on the sets, reps, and variations of the 2-hand and 1-hand kettle bell swing, which takes your mind away from the actual work you do, making it seem as if the time had just flown by.

You have a lot of options; there are numerous ways to incorporate swing training into your existing bodybuilding routine. A simple way would be to use it as a finisher at the end of a workout that involves your legs or your back, since the weights are relatively light.

You can train heavy kettle bells for low reps while working your cardio, or swing 30-to-40 minutes with lighter bells allowing you to focus on fat burning while maintaining muscle mass. How-to Images View our enormous library of workout photos and see exactly how each exercise should be done before you give it a shot.

Kettle bells are pieces of portable exercise equipment that helps work your posterior chain muscles found in the butt, hamstrings, back, and abs. Kettlebellswings will build abs; however, it also depends on how you will swing the kettle bell or use it in a workout routine.

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It’s a simple and fast movement that coordinates your grip, hamstrings, glutes, hips, lats, pecs, and abs. With such weight, it takes effort to grip a moving kettle bell and force to stabilize the core.

The good thing about a kettle bell swing is that it boosts metabolism by keeping your muscle mass while increasing your body’s ability to burn calories. Kettlebellswings are absolutely good for the core, though keep in mind that you shouldn’t focus solely on this.

Swings target your core’s muscles such as the glutes, hamstrings, hips, and even the shoulders. When you swing a kettle bell, a pulse-like contraction in the abdomen occurs, stiffening your core while also stabilizing the spinal column.

If you do execute them every day, try to include a variety of other exercises that work different muscles. Repetition of kettlebellswings can work wonders, but incorporating swings into routines is more fun and productive.

This type of swing is more challenging because you’ll use only one side of the body, which means tension in the core is vital to remain balanced. Two-Handed Kettle bell Swings : These let you squeeze your stomach and work your way up while keeping a stable movement to contract on the way down.

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You will achieve well-toned abs since kettle bell lateral swings pushes your core to exert more effort. This holds true for all aspects of fitness including both training and nutrition.

Steady state cardio is either absolutely essential or inherently useless When you learn something new — especially if you agree with it and successfully implement it within your lifestyle — it’s not uncommon to begin associating that belief with who you are as a person.

In other words, this belief ceases to exist as a possible idea and instead becomes an integral part of yourself — your self-worth — with which you strongly identify as a component of your being. It’s for this very reason why low-carb dogmatists fail to accept the fact that high-carb diets work despite a truly staggering amount of opposing research staring them directly in the face.

See, when presented with new information that directly contradicts something in which you’ve invested a great deal of time, effort, and money…it’s easier to turn a blind eye to support your preconceived notions rather than risk being wrong. Because, when you associate a belief with your sense of self, being wrong is no longer a matter of little significance.

To admit that an entire framework by which you associated your life success is inaccurate would be devastating. Through consciously examining your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, you can become aware of when and why you associate your beliefs with who you are as a person.

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To maintain an open mindset geared towards progress — not ego preservation — it’s essential to understand that few things are explicitly “right” or “wrong.” Depending on the certification and instructor, there are numerous techniques touted as the “right” way to kettle bell swing.

While the various camps will argue day-in and day-out as to which swing is “best,” the funny thing is they’re mostly similar hip dominant variations with relatively insignificant differences. In this day and age who could possibly be a fan of the knee dominant kettle bell swing?

Considering the well-documented importance of the posterior chain — not to mention the fact that everyone says the kettle bell swing is supposed to be hip dominant — a knee dominant swing must be the single dumbest exercise in the world. In the brief video below I demonstrate the major differences between the knee and hip dominant kettlebellswings.

Beneath the video I go into far more detail, outlining several major reasons why the knee dominant swing should be included within your programs. The hip dominant swing is not inherently dangerous for the lower back.

The hip dominant swing is NOT inherently dangerous for the lower back. Considering forward lean increases shear forces on the spine, it makes sense that the knee dominant swing which facilitates an upright torso would be far less likely to exacerbate lower back pain.

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What’s interesting is that any halfway decent coach would immediately nix the DL for a Trap Bar Dead lift when programming for an individual with previous back pain. When coaching individuals with previous back pain/injuries, the knee dominant approach is usually the smartest decision.

In recent years it’s become the cool thing for fitness pro’s to vilify the quads. But strong quads are absolutely essential for high level performance in pretty much every athletic competition.

Not only are the quads key players in sprinting and jumping performance, they’re also main contributors to all planting and cutting actions in sports like soccer, football, rugby, lacrosse, and quidditch. Your Takeaway: Hip dominant swings drastically contribute to glute and hamstring strength which unquestionably aids numerous athletic qualities.

On the other hand, knee dominant swings do a much better job of recruiting the quads which hold separate but equally important benefits in sports performance and injury prevention. It makes sense, not only from a biomechanical perspective, but also from the simple knowledge that the quads greatly contribute to vertical jump performance and the knee dominant swing trains the quads more effectively.

Your Takeaway: If improving your (or your clients) vertical leap is high on your to- do list, you’d be much better off training the knee dominant kettle bell swing. As far as I know, there isn’t a single study comparing the differences in glute involvement between knee and hip dominant kettlebellswings.

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Speaking from personal experience, however, my clients and I have found time and time again that knee dominant swings target the glutes significantly better than hip dominant variations. Remember, I don’t have a single shred of data to show you so take this for what it’s worth.

Assuming you give it a fair chance, I bet you’ll feel your glutes light up like NYC on Christmas eve. More than the “right” way to kettle bell swing, if you take anything from this article let it be that you’ve better learned to disassociate yourself from your beliefs.

It will take time, effort, and practice — anything worth being good at always does — but mastering this skill set will help you and your clients improve in all aspects of life and fitness more than most people could ever imagine.

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